Gov’t Sets Committee to Probe Journalists’ Petition

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Flashback: A demonstration by Liberian journalists, headed by the leadership of the PUL and Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL), who sought to register their frustration over acts of brutality and other mistreatments being meted against them by state security across the country.

The government of Liberia has constituted a five-man committee headed by Dr. Laurence K. Bropleh, former Minister of Information, to probe a petition presented by members of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) on Thursday, March 12, 2020, on allegations of harassment and violence meted out against journalists.

According to a release from the Information Ministry signed by Minister Eugene Lenn Nagbe, the committee members include Momo Cyrus, CEO of the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL); Peter Quaqua, former president of the Press Union of Liberia; Prof. Weade Kobbah Wureh Boley, Vice President for Research at the University of Liberia; and Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai, head of the Civil Society Council.

Minister Nagbe said the committee is given the mandate to probe into the journalists’ complaint and report its findings in 10 working days, which will be March 31, 2020. According to him, the group will also be required to put forth recommendations on how to ensure harmony between the state security forces and journalists as they carry out their respective duties.

Nagbe reaffirmed the Weah-led Government’s commitment to a free press, adding that the government acknowledges that an independent media is cardinal to a wholesome, functioning democracy. He said President Weah has repeatedly committed himself to uphold the rule of law in the dispensation of his constitutional duties, pledging that there will be no “sacred cows”.

It may be recalled that scores of Liberian journalists, headed by the leadership of the PUL and Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL), who sought to register their frustration over acts of brutality and other mistreatments being meted against them by state security across the country, came out in their numbers on March 12 to protest against such acts by state securities.

The Journalist marched to relevant institutions, including the Legislature, Executive Mansion, United States Embassy, European Union, United Nations, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Embassy of the United Kingdom to inform them about the attacks on Liberian journalists.

The decision of the PUL to stage a peaceful protest was reached by plenary, the highest decision-making of the union on March 9, 2020, and it was predicated upon the concern that taking the action of media blackout would not succeed considering the fact that media owners rely on the government for adverts and may not cooperate with the journalists.

The union also unanimously agreed on resolutions that include: prepare a legal team and investigators for immediate investigation and legal actions against perpetrators of brutality against journalists, and a security-media dialogue to end brutalization of journalists and media workers.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ma pipo let this committee get to work quickly and do their work and present their findings. Bor my own nor prablem will be whether they will take wha’ewer recommendation that will be put forward. Hayaka! Corona jes coming to town, and sorona(I mean security) long been troubling and killing us.

  2. Liberian journalists, desist from disseminating propaganda, misleading information, news which are NOT FULLY TRUTHFUL, AND AT TIMES ENTIRELY UNTRUE, AND OTHER KINDS OF DISINFORMATION . You KATO RECEIVERS do not abide by your own principles and ethics of journalism.

    You also do not regard nor adhere to public policies, laws and regulations which affect media structure and operation..

    You want to be foot soldiers for politicians and losers of elections while still feigning to be members of the Press.

    It is this criminal posturing on your part which has made the foreign missions in Liberia, and ANY INCUMBENT Government to have no respect for you.

    And with this notoriously disgraceful modus vivendi on your part, you need to be TAMED BY BEATING. Spare not the rod and spoil the child.

    When you people desist from conducting yourselves as child criminals and hypocrites, the beating may stop. But as long as you people continue this criminal and unprofessional conduct, the beating must continue.

  3. True Nationalist, you are right. These journalists are the cause for local and international authorities treating them with contempt. These journalist will stoop so low as to do the dirty works of politicians in the opposition. And so when these very then opposition have become incumbent, they by then, have absolutely no respect for these journalists who were once their fixers and propagandist. So with such politicians or security personnel aware of the lack of integrity and lawlessness on the part of these very journalist, the only remedy they with incumbent power belief is beating etc. This is what happens in the political jungles of Africa, the Arab World, and Asia.

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